At a Challenging Time for the Profession, Participants Will Advance Their Careers, Gain Work Recognition, Network with Others in Their Field

NEW YORK, NY, May 14, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ — Take The Lead ( today announced its second annual 50 Women Can Change the World in Journalism ( program, slated to kick off on June 16th. Applications for the digital training can be submitted through May 22nd at

Sponsored in part by Democracy Fund and the Ford Foundation, the program comes at a point when women in the media are making progress, but still struggling for parity amid broad layoffs and massive industry changes. For example, women have made up the majority of journalism and mass communication degree programs in the United States for more than three decades. However, the numbers drop dramatically as women move up the ranks in news media organizations: they make up only 37 percent of newsroom leadership and lead only two of the top 25 daily newspapers.

“Women’s voices need to be heard – and listened to – especially during this time in our history, and having women journalists at the forefront allows that to happen,” says Gloria Feldt, co-founder and president of Take The Lead and the creator of 50 Women Can Change the World. “But in light of the pandemic, with massive layoffs and media outlets closing as a result, we need to provide women journalists the professional skills and leadership-building tools that will allow them to continue in their field, and make an impact, whether it is through existing press outlets or creating new channels of communication.”

The cohort selected for the program will be made up of influential and aspiring leaders in journalism from diverse backgrounds. They will develop a vibrant community that will advance their careers, while shifting journalism’s male-dominated approach to reflect women’s prominence in the world and the way the media report on women and issues critical to women.

“The connections I’ve made with women across the journalism industry were not only helpful for networking purposes, but they also transformed into real friendships. The program inspired me to advocate for my employees, grow my resources and own my power,” says Jareen Imam, director of social newsgathering at NBC News, a member of the 2019 cohort.

Building Career Savvy at a Complex Time
Cohort members will come together to craft a new narrative around individual personal power and use it to contribute at a higher level within their organizations and drive industry change.

The program’s research- and experience-based curriculum, created by Feldt, focuses on changing the power paradigm so that women can elevate career intentions, actionable tools and requires participants to design both individual and cohort Strategic Leadership Action Plans. In small-group coaching sessions, the skills they will learn include:

• How to embrace power with intention, confidence and authenticity
• How to employ effective strategies for networking with purpose and negotiating with confidence
• Understanding what’s keeping women from parity in leadership roles and how to overcome those barriers
• Achieving career and life breakthroughs

The instructors, including Feldt and Take The Lead Leadership Ambassador Fara Warner, will offer the education necessary for cohort members to lead in their industry and move their careers forward following the training. Training will continue for two months with a mix of webinars, guest speakers, virtual conference calls and small-group coaching on Strategic Leadership Plan execution. The cohort will meet in person later in 2020, depending on the status of the pandemic, for a final day of learning and graduation.

“Unlike so many leadership programs where plans are never put into practice, we expect real outcomes: promotions, raises and thought leadership in the field of journalism,” says Warner.

Diverse 2019 Cohort Scored Impressive Gains
The 2019 50 Women Can Change the World in Journalism cohort, which was more than 50 percent women of color and represented diversity in age, socioeconomic status and level of leadership, encompassed many high-profile figures from top media outlets, including CNN, Associated Press, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post and New York Magazine, as well as women creating their own podcasting platforms and leading nonprofit newsrooms. Members saw tangible career advancement, with 40 percent taking on additional leadership responsibilities just six months after completing the program and 20 percent receiving a raise or promotion within one month.

“The 50 Women Can program is a rare chance to meet other leaders in the industry who are going through similar transitions, challenges and work toward building a community,” says Leezel Tanglao, senior editor of membership and innovation, HuffPost, who participated in the 2019 program. “You can’t underestimate the power of having a powerful cohort of women who are always ready to learn and help each other. It’s just a confirmation that there is strength in numbers.”

As an example of the power of community, the 2019 cohort pinpointed the need to boost the Wikipedia presence of notable women journalists and developed a target list. In the months following, they held two Women Do News Edit-a-Thons, where they created new profiles and identified more candidates. The effort has continued to grow. “The impact of the 50 Women Can program on the 2019 cohort was incredible. We intend to continue to build on that success and continue to make a difference,” says Warner.

About Take The Lead’s 50 Women Can Change the World
Co-founded by Gloria Feldt, Take The Lead’s mission is to prepare, develop, inspire, and propel women to take their fair and equal share of leadership in every sector by 2025. The 50 Women Can Change the World program provides women with the intention and skills to achieve greater leadership roles and embrace their power to lead change in the culture of their professions.

To learn more, visit: Click for highlights of the 2019 Journalism program.

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